Las Vegas 400 Sunday notebook By Shawn A. Akers LAS VEGAS (March 7, 1999) Notes and quotes from Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Three of the Winston "No Bull 5" contenders had strong...
Las Vegas 400 Sunday notebook By Shawn A. Akers
LAS VEGAS (March 7, 1999) Notes and quotes from Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Three of the Winston "No Bull 5" contenders had strong runs, but that wasn't good enough to win a million dollars. Jeff Gordon managed to lead one time -- for one lap -- but couldn't overtake the Burton brothers in the late going and wound up finishing third. Mike Skinner remained consistent throughout the afternoon and made his way into the top-5 in the latter third of the race. He finished a solid fourth, while teammate Dale Earnhardt, also running for the $1 million bonus, finished in seventh place. The day didn't go so well for the other two contenders, however, both of whom saw their chances for that prize dashed by accidents on Sunday. Michael Waltrip, who started the race from the outside of the front row, spun out on the backstretch on lap 118 coming out of Turn 2 and collected two other cars. He eventually finished 22nd. Kenny Irwin, who also had a top-10 starting spot, also spun out coming out of Turn 2, on lap 131, and that caused a nine-car accident. Irwin eventually finished 41st. Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Gordon, Skinner and Bobby Labonte, by virtue of their top-five finish on Sunday, have made themselves eligible for the next Winston "No Bull 5" event. That will take place at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., with the running of the Coca-Cola 600. It will be the sixth time in eight "No Bull 5" races that Gordon and the No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet team will be eligible. Jeff and Ward Burton waged a classic sibling battle between siblings in the final few laps on Sunday, and the brother duo finished 1-2 in the Las Vegas 400. The last time brothers finished first and second in a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race was Oct. 12, 1997, when Terry Labonte won the Diehard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and Bobby Labonte finished second. The brothers Labonte turned that trick in 1995 as well, when Bobby won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, while Terry finished second. Skinner's finish allowed him to hold on to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points lead after three races. The driver of the No. 31 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet is atop the standings with 475 points, 51 points ahead of Rusty Wallace, who finished ninth on Sunday. Bobby Labonte is third with 423 points, followed by Jeff Burton (413), Gordon (401), Mark Martin and Ken Schrader (389 each), Jeremy Mayfield (380), Wally Dallenbach (363) and Chad Little (359). John Andretti made the biggest jump in the standings on Sunday. With his 12th-place finish on Sunday, Andretti gained 16 positions in the standings and is now 21st, 203 points behind Skinner. Not only did Buckshot Jones participate in his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series event in 1999 on Sunday, he was also the highest-finishing rookie in the Las Vegas 400. Jones finished 29th in his No. 00 Crown Fiber Pontiac. "I got experience with the car, but not the kind of experience I wanted," Jones said. "But we made the race. Now the next thing to do is finish good in a race. I'm not getting down about it. It's a much better way to spend my Sundays, I can tell you that." Another rookie, Stanton Barrett, made his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series start in the Las Vegas 400. He finished 30th in the Accu-Trim/NICE Ford.
Source: NASCAR Online